7 Steps to Negotiating Your Pay

Negotiating your pay is a much-needed skill that everyone should have.


Whether you have been an employee at a company for a long time or have recently started at your new job, you should know the process of negotiating your pay.


Pay negotiation is where the employer and an employee discuss salary, benefits, and other financial aspects of employment along with terms and conditions.


Preparing for pay negotiation


Pay negotiation can be nerve-wracking. So it’s always better to prepare for it instead of jumping right into it. 


Tips on preparing for pay negotiation

  • First of all, reflect on all the values that you have added to the company and what potential you are going to be bringing to the table in days to come. 

  • Gather evidence to support your argument that you are worth being invested in.

  • Research to see what someone with your skills and experiences is worth. Reach out or make a few calls to recruiters to get a range if not a precise number. 

  • Don’t bring up the topic of pay negotiation unless you have been made an offer.

  • It is also important that you wait for an appropriate amount of time for pay negotiation.

  • Focus on gaining expertise and experiences so that you can build a strong enough case.

  • If you have met the job criteria and are qualified as required, you can aim for higher compensation as you move forward in your career.


Negotiating your pay in seven steps


You must have heard or felt that you deserve a pay raise but no one told you how to do it. 


Also, you cannot possibly sit idly by and wait for your employer to make you an offer, you are going to have to ask for it. 


So if you are struggling with what steps you could take on negotiating your pay, you should consider these seven steps.


Plan a meeting


Let your supervisor or employer know in advance that you would like to talk about your pay expectations. Then you both can set a time that works for either of you.


This way your boss won't feel caught off guard or pressured into making a rash decision. Like you, they too need time to think about it. 


An immediate answer is not the solution here. You could perhaps take the advantage of scheduling a meeting when they are in a happy mood. 


Self-evaluate yourself


If you are currently employed and you are getting a promotion or they have given more responsibilities to you then you can leverage that for better pay.


Even if you are an entry-level employee, you can ask for an amount that you think you are worth by assessing yourself and your qualifications. 


You could research and find out from the data available in the market how much someone in your position gets paid. 


Refrain from giving a number right away


You should avoid throwing your number first. If your employer asks about your expectations then you should say that you are open depending on the range.


But this doesn’t mean that you give them a range. Offer them a specific number only if you have done your research and if they ask you.


Also, the number should be something a little higher than what you want. This way you can get your boss into thinking that they are getting a better deal while negotiating down from the initial number.


Confidence is the key


Confidence is believing in your capabilities. So it is crucial that you trust in your abilities before opting for negotiation as which can be seen during the process too.


If you are not confident about your decision then you might come off as hesitant or apologetic while discussing your salary expectations. And you do not want that to happen.


Practice and prepare so that you are comfortable and self-assured about your decision. 


Do not mention your personal needs


Your salary is for what you contribute to the company professionally. It is very unprofessional to bring your debts or other personal problems during pay negotiation.


Moreover, your colleagues are likely to be dealing with situations alike. So, your focus should be strictly on business.


Pay attention to using your performance and achievements as your leverage instead. 


Saying No is okay


There is a chance that your boss will be adamant about not meeting your expectations. In such cases, you are allowed to say no.


Employees and employers do not always reach an agreement and declination is part of the process too. But, make sure you are not saying no to the job while saying no to the pay offer. 


There are other compensation aspects such as paid leaves, health benefits where you can consider settling. If the salary isn’t negotiable, check to see if perks and benefits are. 


Take your time


You can take some time to think about the offer before accepting or rejecting it. 


The time can be a day or two, but you should let them know that you will be taking some time to think it over. 


And, if the employers are in need of an answer right away then they perhaps might increase the original offer. 


Pay Negotiation Basis


It is essential to know on what basis you are deciding to ask for a pay raise.


This is because those factors can be your leverage, something that puts you at an advantage, and something that your employers could take into account whilst negotiating. 


It involves checking all the factors that can lay a sturdy foundation for your argument. 


You need to accumulate evidence so that you can help your employers understand why you are worthy of what you are asking for. 


The basis can be

  • Demonstrated knowledge of a particular skill, 

  • Leadership abilities, 

  • Expertise, 

  • Experiences,

  • Ability to learn quickly,

  • Good execution skills, and more.


Any knowledge, or skills, or enhanced performance can be your supporting points while negotiating for your pay. 


Why and When?


By now you are aware of how to negotiate and what factors to consider while negotiating. 


But it is also essential to know why and when exactly you should negotiate because reasons and circumstances are also equally valuable to make such decisions.


Why should you negotiate your pay?

  • Getting the salary you deserve is how you move forward in your career 

  • It is a normal thing to do no matter how intimidating you find the idea of it

  • Your salary is how your company acknowledges your skills and work

  • It is just another important aspect of the employment process

  • It is one of the many ways, eg health benefits, etc of your company supporting and valuing you for your contribution and dedication 




When should you consider negotiating your pay?

  • Once you have fully established that you are a suitable candidate with so much to offer

  • Once you have received an officially written job offer.

  • In case of a pay raise,  you can wait until promotion or more job responsibilities. But if you have excelled and have made significant progress then you deserve a raise. Don’t wait for months to ask for it. 


What’s next? After negotiation


Say, your pay negotiation didn’t go exactly the way you had planned. Now what?


A failed pay negotiation doesn’t mean the end of your career. Although it does mean multiple other things. 

  • Firstly, perhaps it’s time for you to reflect on your role and make necessary improvements to your profession. 

  • Secondly, it can be a testament to your ability to persevere and maintain a positive attitude. 

  • Likewise, now you can focus on meeting the requirements with a strong plan to build an evident case for yourself in the future. 


On the other hand, you should also know what it means if the pay negotiation goes in your favor and you get the salary or raise that you had expected.

  • The next step after a successful pay negotiation would be to anticipate more responsibilities and more input in the overall decisions of the company.

  • Importantly, a successful pay negotiation does not mean that you are done negotiating. 

  • With consistent quality work delivery, you can always ask to be paid reasonably.


It’s high time you resist leaving your worth at your employers’ bank account and ask for the salary that you deserve. 


Negotiate your pay now and worry (unlikely) later or negotiate your pay never and worry forever? The choice is yours. 

​​​​Team Rolling Blogs
Head/Editor : Pravash Rai
Team Leader : Roshan Kalauni
Writers : Lachana Shakya, Birat Bijay Ojha & Shikshya Subedi
Designs : Beena Koju


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